The Yale volleyball team extended its Ivy conference winning streak this weekend, beating both Penn and Princeton on the road to move into a tie for first place in the Ancient Eight.
On Friday, the Elis (8–6, 4–1 Ivy) faced off against the Quakers (5–11, 2–3 Ivy) in Philadelphia and came away with a clean sweep. The Bulldogs hit .243 to Penn’s .138 and the team managed five aces on the night as well. Captain Mollie Rogers ’15 led the Elis, posting one of seven double-doubles this season on Friday with 18 kills and 20 digs.
“On the whole, this weekend was really great for us,” Rogers said. “To cap off the five weeks of road trips with two victories is really huge for us.”
The Bulldogs recorded a decisive win in the first set, finishing with a nine-point margin of victory and never once falling behind the Quakers. In the next set, they overcame a three-point deficit late in the game, during which they tied with Princeton 15 times, to win 27–25. The Bulldogs then maintained the lead throughout the final game, which ended 25-17.
Head coach Erin Appleman said that although the Elis were missing a player due to injury, the team pulled together to come up with two good victories away from home.
In the game against Princeton (9–6, 4–1 Ivy) on Saturday, Yale handed the Tigers their first conference loss in a 3–0 sweep. The match highlighted setter Kelly Johnson’s ’16 passing abilities, as she contributed 34 assists. Rogers, who posted another double-double with 14 kills and 11 digs, emphasized the importance of the Bulldogs’ passing game, saying the team has been working on it in practice.
Yale managed to hit .327, compared to Princeton’s .124 on the night. The Bulldogs also delivered seven aces, while the Tigers had just one. Middle blocker Maya Midzik ’16 was a strong contributor to the team’s success with 11 kills and a hit percentage of .476.
“We all were really playing together as a unit,” Midzik said. “We were celebrating every point and getting really pumped up for every single game and every single play.”
The team won with another clean sweep, punctuated by a third set in which Yale hit 15 straight points with a hit percentage of .480.
The Princeton game marks the end of a month-long road stretch in which the Bulldogs went 4–1 in conference play and 7–4 overall, with the only conference loss a narrow defeat to Harvard. Both players and coaches expressed happiness at being able to return home for the next few matches.
Now tied for first place in the conference, the Bulldogs look to extend their success throughout the rest of the season. As both Rogers and Midzik noted, the team prefers to focus on each game individually.
“The big thing for us is to take each match one at a time … to be in the moment in every match,” Rogers said.
The team will face Cornell at home this Friday at 7 p.m. Cornell currently sits in last place in the conference at 0–5.